The episode ends up not being as vicious as the last preview implied. Sure, there's definite violent bits going around, but it's like Hee-tae says. This kind of behavior really just isn't his personality. Hee-tae comes off less like a person who's actually angry so much as one who's acting angry because he's not really sure what the appropriate way is to deal with this kind of betrayal. All Hee-tae really knows for sure is that he has to do something.
This makes for a fairly ironic comparison with what's actually going on in the relationship between Il-ri and Joon. Note that, as far as we can tell, they've never consummated the affair or even gotten close to that point. This has strictly been an emotional engagement, more a one-off chance to vent their frustrations than anything approaching a real relationship. Remarkably, there's hints that even absent Hee-tae's discovery the entire incident may have just been a short-term memory.
Not that this makes Hee-tae feel any better. An affair is an affair. But note how little he wants to actually engage the subject publically. Part of this is just so that Hee-tae can avoid the stigma of being a man who was cheated on. Yet bottling up a secret like this is, in fact, exactly the kind of high school behavior he accuses Il-ri of engaging in when she requests forgiveness in ambiguous circumstances.
Contrast this to the actual high school behavior exhibited by two of the younger characters, who are engaging what could best be described as some sort of weird date of mutual hostility. This whole subplot is pretty hard to place, really. Normally these would just be romantic comedy shenanigans except that "Sensible Love" keeps shifting to them right after the main storyline has another huge row. They only obviously become relevant when both subplots run up against each other- and remind us how very awkward strong ethical opinions can be when the situation turns out to be more complicated than it appears at first glance.
General awkwardness remains the strong suit of "Sensible Love". The inability of any character to accurately conform to the stereotypes of more traditional romantic stories is largely what sells the plausibility of the whole backdrop. Everything that happens just takes on this very personal dimension- this isn't how anyone acts in an affair. This is how a very specific group of people reacts to an affair. And the results aren't as willfully bombastic as the genre demands.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Sensible Love" Episode 9"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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